Minister for Main Roads, Craig Wallace and member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today announced the first steps in improving the bridge over Wrights Creek on the Bruce Highway south of Edmonton.
Mr Wallace said work would begin on the almost half a million dollars in planning and preliminary design project by the end of October.
“Our goal is to have construction-ready designs by the time planning is complete,” Mr Wallace said.
“The Bligh Government will be ready to hit the ground and be building as soon as the Federal Government is able to fund construction,” he said.
“This will enable us to bring forward delivery of this vital project.”
Mr Pitt said he and Mr Wallace will continue to lobby the Federal Government for funding.
“The Wrights Creek Bridge is a critical link between Gordonvale and Cairns,” Mr Pitt said.
“Now that the funding has been secured to make this project ‘shovel ready’ I will be doing everything I can to get the Federal funding which is the last piece of the puzzle.
“The design will incorporate a 30 year master plan for the future upgrade of the Cairns Bruce Highway between Wrights Creek, south of Edmonton and Draper Street, near the Cairns city centre.
“Developed in consultation with the local community, the master plan will form the basis of planning and preliminary design work for Wrights Creek bridge.
“Mr Wallace visited in June and he could see straight away just how important this bridge is for locals and how much difference improvements could make,” Mr Pitt said.
Mr Wallace said while Mr Pitt had been dogged in his advocacy for an upgrade to the Wrights Creek Bridge, he also applauded the Cairns Regional Council for its support and highlighting the importance of the project.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the Cairns Regional Council for bringing road safety to the forefront, particularly on this project and the vital link which is the Bruce Highway.
“Locals know the Bligh Government has a long term commitment to making this vital piece of infrastructure a better and safer highway.
“In contrast, the LNP refuses to release any plans for the Bruce Highway until after the election – time and time again making it clear they have no regard for regional Queensland.
Campbell Neman has made one commitment to regional Queensland and that is to toll the Bruce.
Planning work will include designs to improve safety and travelling conditions across the bridge for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
The project is currently planned for delivery in the Bruce Highway Upgrade Strategy in the next five to ten years.